2021 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2020 BMW 8 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Camaro and the 8 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 8 Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 8 Series ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

Engine

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The Camaro ZL1’s 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 127 more horsepower (650 vs. 523) and 97 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 553) than the M850i’s optional 4.4 turbo V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8 is faster than the M850i 4.4 turbo V8 (automatics tested):

Camaro

8 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

3.9 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

12.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

125 MPH

113.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine for maximum performance). The 8 Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has a gallon more fuel capacity than the 8 Series (19 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Camaro has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Camaro offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

A 10-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Camaro, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 8 Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Camaro stops much shorter than the 8 Series:

Camaro

8 Series

70 to 0 MPH

137 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

111 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 8 Series (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:245/35R20 & R:275/30R20).

The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 8 Series’ optional 35 series front tires.

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 8 Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the M850i xDrive Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Convertible handles at .98 G’s, while the M850i xDrive Convertible pulls only .97 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the M850i xDrive Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .91 average G’s vs. 24.2 seconds @ .85 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Camaro’s turning circle is .1 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (38.1 feet vs. 38.2 feet). The Camaro ZL1’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 8 Series xDrive’s (38.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The Chevrolet Camaro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the BMW 8 Series.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camaro Coupe a Compact car, while the 8 Series Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The Camaro Coupe has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 8 Series (93 vs. 81).

The Camaro Coupe has 1.8 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Coupe.

The Camaro Convertible has 1.8 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 4.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Convertible.

Ergonomics

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The Camaro’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 8 Series does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Camaro has standard extendable sun visors. The 8 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Camaro will cost $8140 less than the 8 Series over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Camaro will be $39651 to $54864 less than for the BMW 8 Series.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/23

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 8 Series isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The 8 Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The 8 Series has never been chosen.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2013. The 8 Series has never been an “All Star.”

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the BMW 8 Series by almost 11 to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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